The mononymous synth god Vangelis died May 17, exiting the terrestrial plane and becoming a being of pure sound. Vangelis was most famous for his soundtrack work on films like Blade Runner and Chariots of Fire, but he also inspired one-third of the Adult Swim infomercial Live at the Necropolis: The Lords of Synth. Written by avowed synth heads Scott Gairdner and Ryan Perez in 1986, Lords of Synth sees a three-way competition between stand-ins for Vangelis, Giorgio Moroder, and Wendy Carlos almost end the world. “There is only one hope for humanity: the synthesizer,” Vangelis-alike Xangelix intones early in the short. And in the world of Lords of Synth, he’s right.
The infomercial works on its own, but if you know about the three electronic-music pioneers being parodied, it’s so much better. The film also features many of L.A.’s alt-comedy faves. The Birthday Boys’ Tim Kalpakis brings a real fuckboy energy to his Moroder-type Italian-disco playboy. You can stream Live at the Necropolis: Lords of Synth on YouTube or HBO Max.